Edge Hill, London SW19 4LU
Tel.: 020 8946 0305
HCPT - The Pilgrimage Trust (formerly known as "The Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust") organises a pilgrimage to Lourdes during Easter week of over 5000 people comprising numerous local HCPT groups. Each group is self contained and known as a family group
HCPT Group 35 is based in Wimbledon and welcomes about 15 helpers and 7 children with special needs to join us over Easter week our planning for which starts in September each year.
In addition to being prepared for anything from song singing and children’s liturgies, to sports days and overseeing swimming away from Lourdes at St Jean de Luz beach, helpers need to be CRB checked (easy for most to arrange) have imagination, the ability to listen, energy and lots of patience.
Anyone who is interested in joining HCPT Group 35 as a voluntary helper or a child with special needs, please refer to the contact details below or fill in a contact form. Nurses musicians and enthusiastic helpers are always needed.
Families with special needs children who might benefit from a week in Lourdes with HCPT Group 35, are invited to contact the Group Leader or Group Doctor (details as below)
The pilgrimage is free of cost for child pilgrims and discounts may be available for some helpers.
If you would like to travel with Group 35 and help with our special needs child pilgrims on the Group's annual pilgrimage with the HCPT to Lourdes in 2012, please contact us (details below). Musicians, nurses students and teachers are always needed. For apt cases help may be available with costs (c.£500).
A new Sacred Heart Wimbledon parish based HCPT group to be known as Team Donhead is being formed in addition to Group 35. We intend this new small group to take volunteers to assist HCPT Group 35 and other family groups on their annual Easter Week pilgrimages to Lourdes, starting with Easter Week 2012. As the name suggests, all with Donhead connections including friends, old boys sisters and relatives are invited to volunteer. Those with close connections to the Sacred Heart Wimbledon parish are also welcome whether or not they have any connection with Donhead. Depending upon others needs and our abilities, we may help on trains, undertake marshalilng, assist with Lourdes liturgies, push wheel chairs, do some luggage work and assist with HCPT HQ administration in Lourdes. Applications must be received by 30th January. HCPT Team Donhead will not be a group with children but as we may be asked to help HCPT family groups with their children, all volunteers will need to have CRB checks (easy for most to arrange) and be interviewed.
Of course we also anticipate having a fulfilling structured pilgrimage together and enjoying some time away in the Pyrenees or at the sea side.
Contact Jerry Hawthorne / Lucy McDonnell
Telephone Presbytery 020 8946 0305
HCPT Group 35 and HCPT Team Donhead are part of HCPT - The Pilgrimage Trust; registered charity No. 281074 of Oakfield Park, 32 Bilton Rd, Rugby, Warwickshire CV22 7HQ
HCPT Group 35 Easter Week 2011 Pilgrimage Review
Planning for the Group’s pilgrimage to Lourdes with other HCPT family groups during Easter week commences as early as the preceding June. Our estimate in 2010 of about 20 people proved a substantial underestimate as by April 2011 we numbered 29 pilgrims, partly because of transfers of some children and helpers from a group based in Kew which found only a few weeks before the pilgrimage was due to begin that it could not travel.
Schools and families began to be visited and invitations issued during the autumn of 2010 following receipt of confirmations from Group nurse Pat and other experienced helpers of their wish to join the group for 2011.
Visits to the Ursuline High School and Wimbledon College led to a gratifyingly large number of students volunteering to act as helpers - five students from those schools travelled with us. Welcome support also came from Donhead. Voluntary helpers included Becky the headmaster’s daughter, Jo, a Donhead old boy, a Donhead governor, Cecilia a sister of a former Donhead boy and Bernadette the aunt of another. Additionally, we were privileged to welcome back Phelim McGowan SJ as the Group’s chaplain – Phelim was a former Donhead governor.
In January 2011 a day of preparation for the pilgrimage was held at St George’s College, Weybridge with other Groups from the HCPT London Beaumont Region and in March 2011 Donhead kindly provided facilities for Group 35’s own half day of pilgrimage planning and preparation, one of the highlights of which was a huge lunch brought in by experienced helper, Bernadette.
St Pancras International and the Eurostar journey on Easter Sunday were ideal. Unfortunately, the same could not be said of the Gare du Nord in Paris where the HCPT couchette train was delayed (having apparently suffered a derailment). The presence of some suspicious looking individuals who turned out to be French transport police on an undercover operation along with what appeared to be teenage boys in military uniform toting machine guns in the Paris station concourse, we found unnerving. Travel from Dover thence by chartered HCPT train from Calais direct to Lourdes might be preferable to facing the Gare du Nord atmosphere again in 2012. However the train managed to make up all the lost time as it rattled down overnight to Lourdes and the sight of the Grotto just prior to our reaching Lourdes Station in time for breakfast was wonderful.
We were fortunate indeed to have our own chaplain again so were able to enjoy a Group 35 mass together on the first day.
As in previous years the highlights of the pilgrimage were the characters of the child pilgrims, the dedication of helpers(mainly students) and the way in which the long journey down to Lourdes made for a great atmosphere together.
The liturgical highlights included the masses we shared at Hosanna House with another group which had no chaplain and at St Joseph’s Church in the Lourdes domaine with the six other groups from the HCPT London Beaumont Region; the torchlight procession and group and individual visits to the Grotto.
On the last day ironically after Phelim had taken his early flight home we had a Rotunde de Jeunes for Mass but no priest but met by chance with a small Irish HCPT group with a priest but no chapel so we shared a terrific joint celebration.
Our away day at St Jean de Luz is worth a mention. The beach, sea and sun were ideal for children and helpers alike. The beach was effectively taken over for the day by HCPT pilgrims so much so that one local man after enquiring of us as to the nature of HCPT, introduced himself as a doctor and said that it was nice to know that the town’s beach was being taken over for the day by so many deserving young people.
Lighting farewell candles at the Grotto on our last day was very moving.
Especially welcome at the end of our journey back at St Pancras International was the lift back to Wimbledon in the Donhead minibus courtesy of Mr Headmaster - thank you to him and all others who have helped HCPT Group 35 child and helper pilgrims have such a fulfilling journey together.
HCPT Group 729 will be travelling to Lourdes with the HCPT over Easter Week 2014.
We travel by ferry and chartered train overnight to Lourdes.
Group 729 was formed 3 years ago by the former group leader and deputy of HCPT Group 35.
In Lourdes with Auxiliary HCPT Group 729 in 2013
The new still experimental, HCPT Group 729 has a great young chaplain and currently some 7 helpers for 2013 following our successful first pilgrimage with HCPT over Easter Week 2012.
Team Donhead Group 729 was formed with the aim of serving the nine family groups in the London Beaumont Region. HCPT HQ and London Beaumont Region gave their blessing to the new Group in January 2012
The two Sacred Heart Parish based HCPT Groups start their annual pilgrimage with 5,000 other HCPT pilgrims, to Lourdes on Easter Sunday 8th April 2012.
Provisional departure and return times from and to Donhead, are 12 noon on 8th and 15th April 2012.
The new Sacred Heart Wimbledon based HCPT regional services group 729, has just been approved by HCPT HQ and will make its inaugural pilgrimage as part of HCPT during Easter Week 2012. The parish now boasts two HCPT groups - Group35 and Group 729
A new HCPT group to be known as Team Donhead, will it is hoped take a few volunteers to assist HCPT Group 35 and other family groups each year on their annual Easter Week pilgrimages to Lourdes, starting with Easter Week 2012.
In January 2012 HCPT Trustees are expected to approve the setting up of a new Group based in Wimbledon formally to become part of HCPT - The Pilgrimage Trust.
HCPT requirements these days are for Group Leaders' stints to be for 5 years at the first instance with a second five years being possible but with a new leader being appointed after 10 years.
HCPT Group 35 Pilgrimage to Lourdes Easter Week 2011
HCPT Group 35's prayers for a group nurse having been answered again by Nurse Pat, we still seek musicians to join us as voluntary helpers for the Easter Week 2011 pilgrimage.
If you are a nurse and would like to offer help to special needs children and experience being part of a Wimbledon HCPT family group on the annual pilgrimage to Lourdes during Easter Week 2011, please contact HCPT Group 35's Leader or Doctor - fares subsidies may b
The new film "Lourdes" is due to be shown at HMV Curzon Wimbledon after Easter.
Well reviewed - eg an extract from Time Out reads:
Our parish group (Group 35) takes about 25 people for the weeks stay in Lourdes. We have a group doctor, but also need a group nurse for Easter Week 2010.
On Friday 9th October 2009 at 7:30 pm for 8:00 pm as part of the Wimbledon Bookfest, there is an event being staged by Friends of Donhead at the school with some of the ticket proceeds being earmar